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Kindies - We are working on mouse skills and basic coverage of the keys on the keyboard.  This time of year it is getting them used to not having a touchscreen and feeling comfortable in the lab setting and navigating the computer with the keyboard and mouse.
 
First and Second- We will be starting Word this month with basic skills such as navigating the toolbar at the top of the program.  The students will also have to do a presentation on solving a computer problem such as what happens when the red X disappears.  These presentations are just stating the problem, stating the solution and how they found the answer.  The last all of 30 seconds.  It is to help students realize how to solve problems they encounter as well as develop presentation skills.
Third-Fifth Grade-  Our concentration on keyboarding this year is expanding beyond the classroom.  There is not enough time in class to get the majority of students up to the national standards for their grades (5th-30wpm, 4th-25wpm, 3rd-15wpm) so I have assigned students homework of about 1 hour a week of keyboarding.  They can go on the internet and find typing games, there are a plethora of them.  Some require you to type a letter some a word. Their skill level should determine which type is appropriate.  They should also type a page of text twice a month.  This will give them an authentic way to practice typing.  
 
I have given them a baseline test to see where they currently are with their typing speeds.  Their grade will be determined by their percentage growth each semester.  If they are practicing at home, they should be improving.    This is a very important part of  computer curriculum especially because students will be required to type responses on the state test in  3rd-5th grade.  
 
The students will also have to do a presentation on solving a computer problem such as what happens when the red X disappears.  These presentations are just stating the problem, stating the solution and how they found the answer.  The last all of 30 seconds.  It is to help students realize how to solve problems they encounter as well as develop presentation skills. 
 
Fifth grade will also be participating in Genius Hour.  This is time to learn about something that is of interest to them.  This exercise demonstrates the joy of being a life-long learner.  They will pick a topic, get it approved by me, and then when they finish their classwork they will be able to research this topic, question or solution to a problem.  At the end of the semester they will present something to their class about their research.   We will spend time talking about this at the beginning of the school year but I would like to ask for parents help to guide their child to a topic of interest.  After all, who knows your child best?